Asked Whether Prez &Veep Were Also Ignorant When Promising To Jail Mahama’s Appointees
Ms. Gloria Akuffo, Attorney General
A group within the New Patriotic Party (NPP), has renewed its call on President Akufo-Addo, to oust his paternal cousin; Ms. Gloria Akuffo from the government for “Exhibiting a gross level of incompetence as the Attorney General of Ghana”in prosecuting alleged corrupt Mahama appointees two years into his administration.
“We also wish to remind President Akufo-Addo that his photo will be on the ballot paper, not Gloria Akuffo, so he should sack her for being grossly incompetent! Mr. President, your destiny is not tied to the apron strings of Gloria Akuffo! Get rid of her and save all of us”, the group hadsaid in a statement copied The Herald.
The group, ‘NPP Footsoldiers Against Corruption’, also dished out a response to the President’s lawyer and friend; Akoto Ampaw, who in a recent write up described them as “ignorant”.
Following their maiden press release demanding Ms. Akuffo, hasten processes in jailing Mahama’s appointees or be sacked, Mr. Ampaw fire back saying “Let me state from the onset that I can understand the frustration of the foot soldiers. Nevertheless, they completely miss the point and expose their ignorance of what is involved in criminal prosecution and the Attorney-General’s role and function in that process.”
But the NPP Footsoldiers, said they find his unsolicited reaction to their call very “insulting and “demeaning” to their agenda and 2016 campaign promise to ensure that corrupt officials of the previous administration are made to face the laws of the land.
In a statement released on Monday and signed by Convener, Samuel Kwarteng and three other members, the questioned whether Mr Ampaw’s “ignorant” description also applied to the likes of President Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia and other top NPP members, since in the view of the group, these high profile persons also led in branding and calling the previous government appointees,corrupt.
According to the footsoldiers, per Mr. Ampah’s logic in his write up titled “Fight against corruption: In defence of the Attorney-General”, he“Attacked the integrity of President Nana Addo and Vice President Bawumia, because they also in a similar fashion cited bus branding, Woyome, Isofoton, Waterville, Brazil World Cup, STX, Embraer jets, SADA, GYEEDA, etc as corrupt acts which happened under President Mahama”.
The group’s release said, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, was herself part of the bigwigs of the party who shouted on top of the roofs with the President and the Vice, calling the previous government corrupt.
Instead of Lawyer Ampah telling them to direct their anger towards the many state investigative bodies for the whereabouts of their findings of these alleged corrupt acts, Ms. Akuffo, should do the needful by taking steps to demand actions from these bodies, rather than throwing her hands in despair as though she has no power to do so.
“Gloria Akuffo was on campaign platform with Akufo-Addo and Bawumia and joined in shouting SADA, GYEEDA and the rest!
If she is serious about her job, she would have asked for those cases and would not sit idle, folding her hands for dockets to be supplied to her outfit. What happened to the saying that Mohammed must go to the mountains if the mountains would not visit him? That excuse is lame!”
The group demanded from Lawyer Ampah and Ms. Akuffo, why they confidently came out last year, to tell Ghanaians that prosecution of the previous appointees will start in July and later in October, but nothing of the sort happened.
“Who forced them to alsogive April 2018 as the period for prosecution? Did we put guns on their heads for the Deputy AG, Joseph Dindiok Kpemka to come and tell us prosecutions would commence in October 2018?
Are we not in November? So if there were no dockets, why did they make those promises?”
NPP FootsoldiersAgainst Corruption, also blamed Ms. Akuffo for threats by the first Special Prosecutor (SP), Martin Amidu, threat to resign and warned that they shall fault the A-G if Mr Amidu is unable to get all he requires to efficiently work and carries out his threat to resign.
“He has written that his office is hopeless all because Glora Akuffo is not doing the needful. If Martin Amidu resigns, we shall hold Gloria Akuffo responsible”, they said.
They also accuse lawyer Ampaw of acting as a shadow Attorney General and assured the pair that, in as much as they are aware of his unofficial duties at the Ministry, they as party members will not renege on their quest to get the administration to honour it promises to ensure it continuous stay in power as in the next campaign, they are the ones that will be going to the hinterland to get the masses to vote for the NPP as they did in the last elections.
“We went into the gutters to sell the party to the masses; we did not see Lawyer Akoto Ampaw. We shall be going back to tell the masses to renew our mandate but not only will we not see Gloria Akuffo but the masses shall ask us what we did with the corruption issues we preached about before the 2016 elections”.
The demand for the sacking of the Attorney-General, has been growing lately with even Presidential Staffers, including Samuel Bryan Buabeng, Nana Hesse Ogyiri and others inside the Flagstaff House, publicly asking for the NPP tough woman to be axed from the ministry, because she has failed to jail her political opponent over alleged corruption.
The NPP FootsoldiersAgainst Corruption’ have argued that the failure of Ms. Gloria Akuffo to prosecute Mahama’s appointees, smacks of incompetence on her part, reason she should be dismissed.
Indeed, John Kumah, Chief Executive Officer of the National Entrepreneurship and Innovation Plan (NEIP), has also decried the slow pace of the Attorney General and Minister of Justice office at prosecuting appointees of the previous government, saying it was unacceptable.
Mr Kuma, who is a lawyer by profession, said it is painful to accept that since the NPP came into power, people it accused while in opposition, have not been tried and jailed. Speaking on Metro television’s Good Morning Ghana weeks ago, the law practitioner said it would be proper for the Justice Minister to up her game as the grassroots were getting agitated.
He advised Ms. Akuffo to come out and publicly admit if there isn’t any credible facts about the numerous allegations that were leveled against their political opponents while in opposition so that those who have those allegations still hanged around their necks, can heave a sigh of relief.
The NEIP boss, said assurance by a Deputy Attorney General, Joseph Kpemka, last year, that the Ministry was on course and that it would start prosecution after that year’s legal vacation in October, has since not been fulfilled.
MrKumah, who appeared disappointed, said in the event that the AG fails to prosecute these appointees of former President Mahama, the alleged corrupt persons, should take steps to sue the AG.
The NEIP boss, said this when he was reacting to news report that the NDC diverted moneys meant for building of hospitals into research to assess the then President’s chances for the 2016 general elections. He said all the revelations about the NDC will amount to nothing if the party and government are unable to send very credible evidence to the court for prosecution.
He said it was painful for people to be accused and almost two years into the administration of the NPP, most of these people are still walking free while those mandated with the responsibility to see to their prosecution remain quiet.
Indeed, the NPP Member of Parliament (MP) for Assin South, Rev. Ntim Fordjour, had also over the period expressed similar sentiment.
The legislator on the same Metro TV programme on a different date, said many a times, he is unable to fault the NDC when issues bothering on corruption of the previous government are made because his party has failed woefully to prosecute them. He said the delay tactic was rather hurting the NPP and government.
“But you see, any time the challenge of if we were corrupt, prosecute us comes up, I say that it is a fair challenge for anyone to throw. Yeah, if we are corrupt prosecute and that is why I always appeal and charge various institutions and officials, who are in charge that nearly two years, if we haven’t been able to do any prosecution for all the open perceptions and allegations,and the ones that have prima face cases, and we allow them to continuously be throwing this challenge, if I were corrupt why don’t you prosecute me, this is going to go on and is not going to ensue confidence”.
He continued “The perception of corruption has been so heightened and there are a number of specific accusations. Various institutions have been empowered and resourced and if they require further resource s,they should be further resourced, they should speed up every investigation, and every processes that will lead to prosecution.
You see, when those cases are prosecuted, it will be good for all of us when they are prosecuted and indeed, people are acquitted and discharged that is clear. It is even an opportunity for their names to be cleared so that their names will not linger in perception.
On the other side of the coin, should they be found culpable or complicit, then appropriate sanctions be applied and serve as deterrent. And I am saying that when five to ten prosecutions have been done within a space of 20 months, we would not have had this everyday if we are corrupt prosecute us abated”.